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European Parliament passed the Net-Zero Industry Act

The European Parliament on Thursday approved the Net-Zero industry Act (NZIA) aimed at enhancing Europe’s manufacturing capacity of net-zero technologies.

In February 2024, the Council and the European Parliament already reached a provisional deal on the act, which was proposed by the European Commission in March 2023. The NZIA now only needs to be endorsed by EU Competition Ministers on May 24.

The legislation sets a target of having at least 40% of the EU’s annual deployment needs for strategic net-zero technologies manufactured in the EU by 2030. It seeks to simplify the permitting process and provides for the creation of "Net-Zero Acceleration Valleys" initiatives.

The regulation further provides for the application of sustainability and resilience criteria. Public procurement and auctions for renewable energy should meet such criteria for a minimum of 30% of the volume auctioned per year in the member states, or alternatively for a maximum of 6 GW auctioned per year and per country.

Dries Acke, deputy CEO of SolarPower Europe, said the NZIA is a key piece of the industrial strategy puzzle, which will improve offtake visibility for EU solar manufacturers and called on member states to adopt the resilience principles of the NZIA as soon as possible, noting that “with solar manufacturers in peril, there is no time to lose.”

“Of course, the NZIA is only one part of the story, while landing the NZIA sends a strong signal, it doesn’t negate the need for emergency support and for a structural EU fund for scaling solar manufacturing soon,” he added.

Commenting on Thursday’s vote, lead MEP Christian Ehler said: “To achieve all our economic, climate and energy ambitions, we need industry in Europe. This Act is the first step to making our market fit for this purpose.”

Hydrogen Europe CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis welcomed the inclusion of all crucial hydrogen technologies in the scope of the NZIA. However, he urged lawmakers “to bridge the gap between ambition and reality by increasing available funding for strategic technologies and implementing a Capital Markets Union to maximise European potential.”

Capital Markets Union is mentioned in the recent Letta report to the European Council on the future of the Single Market.


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